Northern Ireland vs Kosovo tips: Both teams to score seems a sensible option

Northern Ireland take on Kosovo knowing that a defeat will leave them on the brink of a humiliating relegation to the bottom division of the Nations League. Here are our key stats and suggested bets.

Ian Baraclough's side have been on the slide for a number of years, with the national team recently slumping to their lowest FIFA World Ranking since 2013.

Northern Ireland competed in division B of the Nations League during the competition's first two years, but they're now on the precipice of a second successive relegation.

Slumping to division D would see Northern Ireland compete with some of the continent's worst footballing nations, including Andorra, San Marino and Liechtenstein.

However, all is not lost yet. A win this weekend against Kosovo could offer a reprieve as the British outfit look for just their second win in 2022.

As things stand, Cyprus sit bottom of the group with two points to their name. Northern Ireland are one spot above on goal difference, though Baraclough's men will close out their campaign with a trip to unbeaten group leaders Greece. With that in mind, picking up all three points against Kosovo is of utmost importance.

Despite sitting 106th in the FIFA World Rankings, the Dardanians have enjoyed a good run of results.

Alain Giresse's side have won three of their last six outings and have only lost twice - both defeats coming against Greece.

Last time Kosovo and Northern Ireland went head-to-head, fans in Pristina were treated to a goal fest as the hosts powered to a 3-2 win.

The Irish will be hoping to have their moment of redemption in Belfast, which could result in a similarly lively affair.

Baraclough's side are certainly not goal-shy having scored four goals from their last two internationals.

Kosovo, on the other hand, have found the back of the net five times in four games and will offer a serious attacking threat.

Vedat Muriqi is the nation's all-time top scorer with 20 goals in 42 appearances, and the Mallorca forward will be looking to add to that tally away at Windsor Park.

Muriqi scored two of Kosovo's three goals during their previous win over Northern Ireland and he remains the man to watch.

Nevertheless, the main recommendation ahead of Saturday is to back both teams to score.

The over 2.5 goals bet and the Muriqi to score anytime are also two possible options ahead of a big game in Belfast.

Key stats

- Northern Ireland have won 5 of their last 28 games

- Vedat Muriqi has scored three goals in his last five games for Mallorca

- Northern Ireland haven't scored a first-half goal in 12 of last 14 home games

- Greece are the only team to beat Kosovo this year

- Northern Ireland have scored four goals in last two games

Suggested bets

- Over 2.5 goals

- Both teams to score

- Vedat Muriqi to score anytime

- Kosovo to score first

- HF/FT Kosovo/Draw

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